Man accused of killing mother to hear fate Wednesday

04 Apr 2016 13:20pm
WINDHOEK, 04 APR (NAMPA) – A man who stands accused of hacking his mother to death with an axe at the Otjimbingwe settlement in 2013, will hear his fate on Wednesday when the High Court here hands down judgment in the matter.
The 26-year-old Sigfried Uirab allegedly killed Erika Uiras, 63, by hacking her to death with an axe at the settlement, situated southeast of Karibib in the Erongo Region on 21 November 2013.
The deceased died of head injuries in a Windhoek hospital two days after the attack.
High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg, after having listened to submissions to evidence of mitigation and aggravation before sentencing last Thursday and Friday, said he will deliver his verdict on the matter on Wednesday morning at about 10h00.
In her submissions, prosecution representative State Advocate Felistas Sikerete-Vendura has asked the court that Uirab be found guilty as charged of the three counts of murder, attempted murder and assault by threat.
“On the count of killing his biological mother, Sigfried Uirab should be found guilty of murder with an intention to kill,' said Sikerete-Vendura as she asked the court to rule in favour of the prosecution when handing down the verdict.
On his part, Uirab's government-funded defence lawyer, Titus Ipumbu told the court that his client cannot be criminally held responsible for the death of his biological mother because he was apparently suffering from some kind of substance-induced psychosis as he abused alcohol and dagga at the time and after the alleged killing incident.
According to the defence lawyer, Uirab had no intention to kill his mother.
Meanwhile, Uirab still maintains he was possessed by “strange unknown spirits” that forced him to commit the brutal crime.
“On the day of the incident, the deceased person, who is my mother, gave me some tobacco to smoke while she was outside in the yard of the house. Suddenly, while busy smoking the tobacco, some strange unknown spirits engulfed my mind and I started attacking my mother.
“I hit the deceased about four times on the head with an axe and I only stopped attacking her when she fell down to the ground. After that I took the deceased inside the house and while I was washing the blood off her head, she wanted to know why I was attacking her. I fully know that I had no right to kill the deceased person,” Uirab said in a statement presented before court.
He initially entered a guilty plea, but the court did not accept this plea after his claims of “strange unknown spirits” forcing him to commit the crime.
Instead, the presiding High Court judge entered a plea of not guilty to the count of murder on behalf of accused Uirab.
He also pleaded not guilty to the other two counts of attempted murder and assault by threat.
He had allegedly also tried to murder his sister, Lena Uiras, by hitting her on the head with the same axe and chased another relative, Lizette Uiras, with the same weapon.
Uirab had been treated at the psychiatric clinic of the Windhoek Central Hospital for about two months before the attack on his mother.
He was diagnosed with substance-induced psychosis for allegedly abusing alcohol and drugs over a period of time.
Uirab remains in police custody at the Windhoek Police Station with no option to post bail since his arrest in November 2013.
Ipumbu is defending him on the instructions of the Justice Ministry's Directorate of Legal Aid.